Republicans released a redraw of the state’s judicial and prosecutorial districts Sunday evening, setting up a committee hearing Monday afternoon on a potential overhaul of the state’s third branch of government.
Gov. Roy Cooper, during a budget press conference, said he needed to review the legislation but said it appears an attempt to “rig the courts” in favor of the GOP legislative majority.
“What I’ve heard simply tells me they’re trying to rig the courts because they lost,” Cooper said. “This is an attempt to threaten the judiciary and to rig the judiciary in their favor.”
House Bill 717 is 21 pages of detailed precinct movements to rework judicial lines in the state. Maps tweeted Sunday night by state Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, the bill sponsor, show a number of changes from the status quo.
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Peg Dorer, director of the Conference of District Attorneys, said the new districts would eliminate two district attorneys – one covering Scotland and Hoke counties and another for Anson and Richmond – ceding their area to other districts. It makes changes to seven prosecutorial districts overall, Dorer said.
“They’re pairing some things up and moving some things around that is going to cause a lot of hardship,” she said. “It’s just a mess.
“And, if you want to get political about it, all of the losers are Democrats,” Dorer said.